Nissan 350Z (1998-2007)

The original Z cars were all-time greats; while the brand went off the boil for a while, this masterpiece made sure it didn't wither on the vine. With a free-revving V6 up front there's power aplenty while handling is an enthusiast's dream - oversteer is available on demand. Despite superb performance credentials, the 350Z is easy to drive and reliable too - and although there's no prestige badge in evidence, you're not paying premium prices to buy or run one either.

Key Dates

3/03: The 350Z coupé goes on sale with a 276bhp 3.5-litre V6 only.

10/04: A roadster joins the range, powered by the same V6 as the coupé.

1/05: The Gran Turismo 4 limited edition arrives, with a 296bhp V6 and special wheels.

3/06: A facelift for both the coupé and roadster brings new headlamps and tail lights, extra power (now 296bhp) and a revised dash.

Nissan 350Z (2003-2008) Checklist

  • Clutches can fail in under 10,000 miles, especially on hard-driven cars, so check for slipping.
  • Don't be put off by a noisy gearbox in neutral - they all do that.
  • Gunmetal cars can suffer from the paint blistering or discolouring on the various plastic components.
  • The paint is also generally not especially durable, as it stone chips easily; look for damage on the nose particularly.
  • The final cars offer more power, but the engines don't feel as free-revving or powerful as earlier units.
  • Exhausts can fracture near the rear silencer, leading to blowing.

We Like

  • Performance
  • Styling
  • Dynamics
  • Reliability

We Don't Like

  • Thirsty engine
  • Cheap plastics
  • Nissan badge
  • No 2+2 option